[b-hebrew] Kadeshah & Zonah in Genesis 32 + More
Harold R. Holmyard III
hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Jul 15 21:36:16 EDT 2004
>Personally, it makes no difference to me whether the report is
>historically accurate or not. I think there is too little to support a
>claim that it was, but that is beside the point. So long as one is
>solely interested in attempting to explain why they consider it to be
>historical or whether the words are accurately reported, one is not
>concentrating on the purpose for which it was written. Why are these
>stories written as they are? Was there some importance to the story of
>Judah and Tamar? If so, what? These are what should be sought.
>Otherwise we are majoring in minors.
HH: One thing the story in Genesis 38 shows is the tendency of Judah
to mix with the Canaanites and adopt Canaanite practices. This may
have been one reason why God led the Israelites into Egypt. The
Canaanites were to mature in their wickedness during the Israelite
years in Egypt (v. 16 below):
Gen. 15:13 Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your
descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they
will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.
Gen. 15:14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and
afterward they will come out with great possessions.
Gen. 15:15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be
buried at a good old age.
Gen. 15:16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back
here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full
When Israel came out of Egypt, the Canaanite evil would have matured
to the point of divine judgment. The story of Judah suggests that
Israel might have been sucked into that evil had they stayed in the
land. Judah's friend Hirah was an Adullamite. Adullam was a Canaanite
royal city, so Hirah was evidently a Canaanite. Then Judah married a
Canaanite woman (Gen 38:2), something Abraham and Isaac would have
blanched at. Judah next sought Tamar, thinking she was a prostitute.
She was sitting at the entrance to Enaim, so he probably thought she
was a Canaanite prostitute.
By the way, I liked the idea that someone presented about the veil
being used in unusual situations. The person compared it to Rebekah
putting on a veil when she approached Isaac. It seems plausible that
a veil might mark out a woman as a prostitute, if women did not
ordinarily wear them and it was not a marital situation. Anyway,
Judah met her on his way to see Hirah, who lived in Timnah. Enaim was
on the road to Timnah, so Judah met her before he saw Hirah.
Therefore, when he sent Hirah to get his pledge back from the woman,
he must have identified her to Hirah as a shrine prostitute (QD&H),
because that is the information Hirah used to seek for her. Remember,
he had to depend on the information given by Judah, since Hirah was
not there when the incident occurred. So we see Judah getting sucked
into the depravity of Canaan.
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